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Hurricane Erin grazes Bermuda

A satellite photo of Hurricane Erin
A satellite photo of Hurricane Erin  

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Hurricane Erin continued to gain strength Sunday but posed increasingly less threat to land as it strayed farther out in the Atlantic.

The worst part of the storm, with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph (195 km/h), passed to the northeast of Bermuda on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

At 11 p.m. EDT, the National Weather Service placed the large eye of Erin, the first hurricane of the 2001 Atlantic season, 115 miles (185 kilometers) northeast of Bermuda. The storm was moving north-northwest at 10 mph (17 km/h).

At 11 p.m. EDT Sunday


33.7 degrees north latitude, 63.5 degrees west longitude

North-northwest at 10 mph

Sustained winds at 120 mph

Little change in strength is forecast over the next 24 hours

Tropical storm warning for Bermuda

As predicted, the storm -- upgraded earlier Sunday to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale -- did not hit Bermuda directly. The island's government instituted a tropical storm warning Sunday night, down from a hurricane warning earlier in the day.

The National Weather Service said the warning will likely be discontinued sometime Monday morning.

Erin should cause above normal tides, large waves and tropical storm-force squalls in Bermuda through the night, forecasters said. But conditions on the island should improve over the next 12 hours as the system moves away.

The National Weather Service said Erin's hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from its center, with tropical storm force winds extending to 175 miles (280 kilometers).

The escalation to hurricane status Saturday represented the latest in Erin's up-and-down ride since it appeared in the Atlantic last week. Just four days ago the storm had dissipated to a tropical wave -- only to regain tropical storm status a few days later.

Five storms have reached named status this hurricane season in the Atlantic, but Erin was the first to become a hurricane. All rode a roller coaster of strengthening and weakening as they plowed their way west.

• Hurricane Season 2001
• National Hurricane Center
• National Weather Service
• Interactive Weather Information Network
• AccuWeather
• National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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